After the Soviet Union collapsed in the early 1990s, Otto moved to Moscow and began his journalism career as the New York Times bureau photographer. He traveled the republics of the former Soviet Union to document post-Communist life, including wars, hardship, opportunity, and just the sheer craziness of it all. He survived a head and lung shot while covering the failed coup against Boris Yeltsin in 1993.
Realizing the economic opportunity unfolding in Russia in the mid-90s, Otto co-founded three businesses, ultimately selling two of them to Eastman Kodak. After a stint at a startup in San Francisco at the tail end of the first internet boom, Otto returned to journalism, filing stories for a wide array of publications from over a dozen countries while based in Spain, Kenya, Ukraine, and Germany. During this time he was awarded a Fulbright as well as a Pew Journalism Fellowship. This website documents some of his newspaper and magazine journalism, as well as a few photo galleries, from this time.
Otto has a BA in government from Cornell and a master’s in business from the Stanford GSB. Otto currently is a startup communications consultant (please check out Core Communications) and splits his time between Los Angeles and Bozeman, Montana with his wife and two children.